Formula 1: We're All Going on a Summer Holiday - The Bottom 5
So far, I have covered Ferrari, BMW, Renault, Toyota and McLaren, the top 5 if you will, now it's on to the bottom 5, Red Bull, Williams, Honda, Toro Rosso and Force India.
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Back into holiday mode:
Case, packed... Sun tan lotion, applied... Union Jack towel, rolled... Sun, check... Sea, cold... Sand, itchy... Plane tickets, OH NO, where are those bloody plane tickets... TAXI!
It’s been somewhat of a mixed bag for David Coulthard and Mark Webber this season.
They have been very quick on some occasions, but on others they have been distinctly average in the midfield. They tend to blow hot and cold for the strangest of reasons.
They have a good combo, and both DC and Mark are capable drivers, but they just don’t seem to have hit that groove so far this year, bar the odd flash of genius.
Red Bull were blessed with the great news that hot young talent Sebastian Vettel will be joining them next year from sister outfit Toro Rosso. This was a welcome boost for both Red Bull and the young prospect.
I think DC may already be in retirement mode. As for Webber, he seems to be driving very well. In terms of mentoring for the youngster, he is the man for the job. The two together in a reliable fast car, will be a dynamite combination.
With a 9/11 finish in Hungary and a 13/DNF in Germany, the form from the start of the season clearly hasn’t carried on. However, the drive and determination is certainly there.
Red Bull is the highest performing bottom 5 team right now. Keep your eyes peeled for a big fight back soon hopefully.
Oh, what has become of my beloved Williams? Back in the day when I was a young ‘un, Williams were my “Other” team when McLaren didn’t do so well.
As I grew up, I sided with McLaren but always had a soft spot for Frank’s fighters. As of late, they have moved down the pecking order and the results are just not there for them.
Rumours could be that there are money issues, even though it was stated only as recently as today that they would be going nowhere when Big Frank was quoted as saying “In the next few years, we will not sell. We would sell no more than shares, the name Williams is staying in Formula One.”
Other rumours say that like BMW, maybe Williams are starting to focus an awful lot on getting the car right for the big jump to 2009, hopefully reigniting the glory days of the 90’s?
With a great driver package in the shape of Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima, things should be looking up and they could have a lot to do for the back end of the season.
I sincerely hope they are this bad because they are looking to the 09 package, because it pains me to see them struggling.
Prediction: More of the same disappointment. I just hope the drivers don’t lose heart and can maybe stay loyal and get a chance in a good car next year.
What becomes of loyal employees? They say good things come to those who wait, and I hope this is the case for Jensen Button. He has stuck with Honda through thick and thin. He is an excellent driver and is definitely capable, but the package just hasn’t been there.
Honda has always said 2007 and 2008 were transitional years, where development would be very slow and they wouldn’t be performing as well as they should be expected to.
With the arrival of the master that is Ross Brawn just ahead of the 2008 season, a lot of things looked up. Now there are rumours floating about the possible arrival of Fernando Alonso, but then again, which team hasn’t been linked with the "Incredible Sulk" this season?
So, Honda's form into the back end of the season won’t be good. Some very low finishes are ahead. To get into the points, they are going to have to get a big chief to perform a rain dance, and you watch Ross “The Tactical Wizard” Brawn get to work.
Red Bull sister team Toro Rosso may have a master at the helm, but not much has been going on in terms of results. The speed is there, but it’s been a bad consistency theme that has ran for the majority of the season for Sebastian United.
Bourdais hasn’t really performed and has been outshined by his teammate time and again. As a result of this, Vettel will be starting 2009 alongside Mark Webber as a Red Bull driver.
In Hungary, Vettel blew up in the heat and Bourdais was dead last in 18th place and was lapped three times by the lead pack. Not a great finish.
In fact, it had been an awful weekend altogether for the Italian-based team. That doesn’t bode well for the next track, as it's a new one for the Formula 1 season.
Will Valencia put another disappointing weekend on the cards for Toro Rosso? I hope not, because Vettel has been one of my favourite drivers this year, and I would love to see him find that sweet spot and maybe even outrun one of the Red Bull sister cars. Let’s hope for a shock after the holiday.
Last but by certainly no means least are the foundations of both the Drivers Championship table and the Constructors table, Force India, still without any points.
I wouldn’t say it’s been a bad year for Mallya’s boys, they have managed to shave off a big chunk of their lap times to bring them in line with the rest of the field.
While they are still not blistering and are not competitive, they are still up there and within one second of the front runners, I would say that this is very impressive pace for the team, which is approaching its first birthday.
Wonder if I get an invite to this one, I have heard the boat is just lovely?
I think it goes without saying that the back end of the season will be a further testing time for the Force Indias. They should just focus on doing as well as they can and developing the life out of those cars and hopefully be more of an entity in the 09 season.
Here’s how the bottom half of the drivers table looks:
(Top half of drivers table and constructors table available on Part 1)
Drivers Championship (Bottom):
- 11. Nelsinho Piquet (Renault) - 13
- 12. Rubens Barrichello (Honda) - 11
- 13. Nico Rosberg (Williams) - 8
- 14. Kazuki Nakajima (Williams) - 8
- 15. David Coulthard (Red Bull) - 6
- 16. Sebastian Vettel (Torro Rosso) - 6
- 17. Jenson Button (Honda) - 3
- 18. Sebastien Bourdais (Torro Rosso) - 2
- 19. Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India) 0
- 20. Adrian Sutil (Force India) - 0
So there you have it, the rundown of all 10 teams currently racing for your love and attention week after week. It is fair to say this summer holiday won’t be spent on the beach.
The drivers and teams will get three or four days off, and then it’s back to the factories for development. Little tweaks here and there, computers buzzing into the early hours while you and I are sleeping.
The same will go for the drivers, no lying on a beach drinking San Miguel for them. The fitness regime will continue, and the personal trainers will give them hell for the full three-week period to ensure they are good to go come race time on Aug. 24.
How do you think the teams will fare? Do you think I have been quite accurate in my analysis? Who has the impetus and momentum to do well after the summer break? Do you think that eating cheese before bedtime gives you nightmares? Will Kimi Raikkonen fall asleep at the wheel if he gets anymore boring?
Ladies, gentlemen and all other living things, you know what to do now... Go and click the little orange button at the top of this page because you think my summer holiday two-part series is the mutt's nuts. If not, just leave me a couple of stars and a comment with your opinion on there. Danke Schoen.
Ben, Over and Out!
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